GEORGE HIXSON through a human barricade of pro-choice advocates at the West Loop Clinic. The abortion rights battle took a strange twist Thursday when the building manager of the Women’s Pavilion clinic on the 200 block of the North Sam Houston Parkway demanded that clinic defenders be arrested for trespassing. Building manager Michele Divin pointed out 16 defenders who she reportedly had warned to stay six feet from the curb and demanded that police arrest them. The defenders had successfully kept eight Operation Rescue followers from locking the doors or entering the clinic, but Divins told the Houston Chronicle the building’s owners were satisfied that their own security could handle any disturbance. One antiabortion protester also was arrested. Gay activists complained that they were being made the new Willie Hortons at the convention. Many complained that “traditional family values” is a code for gaybashing to placate the Religious Right. Gay and lesbian leaders were excluded from GOP platform hearings in Salt Lake City, only two years after gay rights leaders were invited to the White House to witness Bush sign a hate crimes bill that covered gays and lesbians and another bill that banned discrimination against people with disabilities, including the virus that causes AIDS. The Republican platform eQed up opposing same-sex marriages and adoptions and-supporting a continued ban on homosexuals in the military. The Democratic convention, which included more than 100 gay and lesbian delegates, supported gay rights, an end to the ban on military service and more money for AIDS research and treatment. Clinton has a lukewarm record on homosexual issues as Governor of Arkansas, but his campaign already has raised large sums of money from the gay community, the Los Angeles Times reported. The Log Cabin Federation, a gay Republican organization which claims nearly 6,000 mem bers nationwide, at a mini-convention in The Woodlands, north of Houston, voted not to endorse Bush and Quayle. Robert Brown of Austin, a Texas district director of the Log Cabin Club of Texas, said the group will support sympathetic Republicans, including Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio in a state Senate race in the Hill Country, Joseph A. Devany for the Court of Criminal Appeals, Herbert Spiro against U.S. Rep. Jake Pickle in Austin, Dolly Madison McKenna against U.S. Rep. Mike Andrews and Edward Blum against U.S. Rep. Craig Washington, both of Houston. The latest platform notwithstanding, Brown believes gays belong in the GOP and they should help return the party to its roots. “The Republican Party is where the fight is,” he said. “It’s very easy in the Democratic Party to say you’re for lesbian/gay rights without doing anything about it.” Brown dismisses the Religious Right as “a cult that has invaded the Republican Party,” and he believes a series of electoral losses will show the party the error, as the Democratic Party recognized that it had to distance itself from the extreme liberal wing. Gay groups were distributing a note Barbara Bush sent in May 1990 to Paulette Goodman, national president of the Federation of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, in which Mrs. Bush said: “I firmly bolieve that we cannot tolerate discrimination against any individuals or groups in our country … I appreciate so much your … encouraging me to help change attitudes.” T he GOP was mindful of the high profile given women candidates at the Demo cratic convention. This year the Democrats have 15 women running for the Senate while two Republican women are in Senate races; House races include 88 Democratic women and 55 Republican women. Some Republican women were not satisfied with the attention given to female Republican candidates at the convention. Dolly Madison McKenna, who worked in Bush’s 1970 Senate campaign, served in the Nixon White House and is now challenging U.S. Rep. Mike Andrews in Houston, said the party may be afraid of people who are less controllable. “They were afraid it would be a messy convention,” she told the Washington Post. Donna Peterson of Orange, challenging U.S. Rep. Charles Wilson in East Texas, had no complaints about her treatment at the convention and she expected no special consideration because she was a woman. “I think the year of the woman pertains to my race only in that it showcases women as credible candidates and in that respect people say women are capable of running and being candidates,” she said, “but I think people are looking for jobs because it’s very tough economically in Texas and they’re going to look at the candidate who can deliver those jobs and discuss the issues, male or female.” Kay Hutchison said it is unfair to suggest that women got more attention at the Democratic convention. “Women are getting a lot of attention at the Republican convention in prominent roles,” she said, noting that Lynn Martin nominated Bush Wednesday night. Bush has appointed a greater percentage of women 42 percent to senior government posts than any other President, including three female Cabinet members; Clinton ranks in the bottom half of governors in terms of appointments of women to high-level government posts, according to the National Women’s Political Caucus. But prominent in the minds of many women was the hard line the party has adopted against abortion. Attacks on Hillary Clinton by his surrogates also appeared not to help Bush, and two national polls released during the convention showed a gender gap with women favoring Clinton. A poll by the independent team Greenberg-Lakey showed working women favor the Democrat 62 to 27. A Houston Chronicle poll conducted the weekend before the convention found that Bush and Clinton were virtually even in support among men, with 44 percent of men supporting Clinton and 42 percent supporting Bush, but women favored Clinton by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. Hutchison said she does not believe women will desert the Republican Party because of its anti-abortion plank. “I think abortion is an issue, because it is a divisive and a tough issue, but I believe that what we’ve determined to do is agree to disagree and I don’t think we can take one issue and isolate it to determine their vote for president. I think people are going to start looking at other key economic issues and make an overall choice,” she said. Asure-fire way to get a reaction from the Republican crowd was to complain about the liberal news media. Young Republicans occasionally paraded through the Astrohall press area changing: “Hey, hey, ho, ho, liberal media’s got to go.” And a popular poster sold at the convention showed a young Ronald Reagan about to be strung up by bad men in a movie, with the caption: “STOP 12 SEPTEMBER 4, 1992
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